Con: World Health Organization Announces Correlation Between Processed Meat and Cancer

Con: World Health Organization Announces Correlation Between Processed Meat and Cancer

Ellen Butler, Staff Writer

   The World Health Organization  (WHO) published the study that consuming processed meat increases a persons chances of contracting cancer by 20%. Even if this statement was true, the amount of processed meat an individual would have to consume to have a chance of it being relatively carcinogenic is unrealistic.

   According to Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs for the North American Meat Institute, the assumptions made about the connection are a dramatic and alarmist overreach.Mittenthal argues that WHO tortured the data to fit what their preconceived notion was.

   Knowing that there is doubt in relation to the statements made and data collected by  WHO leaves a lot of uncertainty in the community. Why would WHO announce such a famous statement if the data was uncertain? This kind of statement could lead to problems, such as lawsuits and bankruptcy, by processed-meat companies everywhere.

   “There are people who believe until the evidence is conclusive they shouldn’t be making broad statements because of the effects it could have on the industries,commented Mr. Martin, World History teacher.

   This statement could have big effects on important business and popular industries. People may stop eating processed meats believing what they hear which may cause the closing of some businesses because fast food is such a huge part of the American diet,said Emily Hansen (12).

   Even if the data collected was legitimate, announcing the epidemic was almost irrelevant. Most people who would be eating a substantial amount of processed meats may not be in a stable financial position to change that,said Kristi Smith (10). In this situation, the statements made would have close to no impact on the lives of the individuals.  

   In the UK, around 6 out of every 100 people contract bowel cancer sometime during their life. If an extra 50g of bacon was added to their diet every day, the increase would only affect one individual. Sir David Spiegelhalter, a professor form the University of Cambridge argued, so thats one extra case of bowel cancer in all those 100 lifetime bacon-eaters.

   The announcement made that consumption of processed meats having a significant carcinogenic impact on society should not have been announced. The statement was unnecessary due how little it really affects the population.